Inly’s new school library welcomed its first visitors from the children’s book world last week. Peter Reynolds, the author of The Dot among many other books, and his twin brother, Paul, signed copies of their joint production – Going Places. They generously allowed Inly to use one of Peter’s illustrations to celebrate our new building and the icing on the cake was their appearance at our ribbon cutting.
My colleague, Mary, and I were standing nearby as they signed books and we marveled at how genuinely kind both Reynolds brothers were to to every person there. Mary and I originally planned to write each child’s name on a Post-it note for Peter (who was signing first), but we quickly abandoned that plan after listening to him asking children how to spell their names and using it as a way to spark a conversation.
The magic continued on Friday during my “field trip for one” to Plainville to visit An Unlikely Story, the book store owned by Jeff Kinney, author of The Wimpy Kid series. I’d heard glowing reports from kids and adults, but Plainville is not “down the street” and the months went by. With the encouragement of a new teacher at Inly whose mother works at An Unlikely Story, I finally made the trip, and it was well worth it!
As soon as I walked inside, I knew it was one of those special bookstores. I go to book shops all over the world looking for the perfect combination: a cozy and well designed store, expert buyers, and a good cafe to sit and look at your new books. An Unlikely Story does all three – and I am now seeking new routes to Plainville!
I had lovely conversations with two staff members: Sarah Nixon, who joyfully shared her enthusiasm for children’s books, and Leo Landry, the author of one of the best picture books to read to a toddler, Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise!
Leo has a new book being released next week – What’s Up Chuck – and I’ve already ordered a copy for Inly’s Library.
Yesterday I visited another wonderful library, but not the kind that lends books. The library is inside Beauport, the Gloucester summer home of Henry Sleeper, one of America’s first interior designers. The house is almost impossible to describe. Our tour guide, Mary, told us that Sleeper wanted each room is illicit a “wow” response – and he accomplished his goal. The rooms are themed, they move between light and dark, and the collections are spectacular.
Like the new Inly Library, Sleeper’s library is round, but the similarities end there. A fun note: the little red curtains on the left side of the picture below are made of wood. Mary told us that Sleeper found the curtains at an antique shop and designed the room around them!
A fun book-themed few days – and now I have Jennifer Holm’s new novel, Full of Beans, to enjoy for the rest of the day…Happy Reading!